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Piasa (Challenge 6)

Large dragon, unaligned

Armor Class 15 (natural armor)
Hit Points 144 (17d10 + 51)
Speed 40 ft., fly 80 ft.

18 (+4) 11 (+0) 16 (+3) 9 (-1) 12 (+1) 7 (-2)

Saving Throws Dex +3, Con +6
Skills Athletics +7, Perception +4, Stealth +3
Damage Vulnerabilities poison
Senses blindsight 15 ft., darkvision 120 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Draconic
Challenge 6 (2,300 XP)

Special Traits

  • Segmented Tail. The piasa’s spiked tail is segmented and up to three times the length of its body. When the piasa takes 25 or more damage in a single turn, a segment of its tail is severed. When the first segment is severed, the tail attack’s damage type changes from piercing to bludgeoning and deals 1d8 less damage. When the second segment is severed, the tail attack no longer deals damage, but it can still grapple. When the third segment is severed, the piasa can’t make tail attacks. The tail re-grows at a rate of one segment per long rest.


  • Multiattack. The piasa can use its Frightful Presence. It then makes three attacks: one with its bite or tail and two with its claws.
  • Bite. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 15 (2d10 + 4) piercing damage.
  • Claw. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 5 ft., one target. Hit: 11 (2d6 + 4) slashing damage.
  • Tail. Melee Weapon Attack: +7 to hit, reach 15 ft., one target. Hit: 13 (2d8 + 4) piercing damage. If the target is a Medium or smaller creature, it is grappled (escape DC 15). Until this grapple ends, the target is restrained and the piasa can’t make tail attacks against other targets. When the piasa moves, any Medium or smaller creature it is grappling moves with it.
  • Frightful Presence. Each creature of the piasa’s choice that is within 120 feet of the dragon and aware of it must succeed on a DC 15 Wisdom saving throw or become frightened for 1 minute. A creature can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a success. If a creature’s saving throw is successful or the effect ends for it, the creature is immune to the piasa’s Frightful Presence for the next 24 hours.
  • Sleep Breath (Recharge 5-6). The piasa exhales sleep gas in a 30-foot cone. Each creature in that area must succeed on a DC 15 Constitution saving throw or fall unconscious for 10 minutes. This effect ends for a creature if the creature takes damage or someone uses an action to wake it.


The dragon easily stands out from its draconic cousins with a huge rack of antlers rising from its head, and a well-groomed beard jutting from its tiger-like chin and jaw line. Its incredibly long tail whips to and fro, tipped by a terrible spike.

Bearded Drake. While the beard of the piasa can be mistaken as hair, it would be more correct to say that it is made of the same chitinous material as its scales. Male piasa are covered with scales that are a shade of green, while female piasa are covered in golden scales. Male beards are often gold in color, while female beards can range from light gold to almost black.

Ravenous Carnivore. A lower form of dragon, the piasa is well known for its hunger for humanoid flesh. While it will eat any source of meat, it prefers live prey that it has rendered unconscious and has a particular fondness for dwarf flesh.

Hunters of Snakes. People that live near piasa quickly learn to carry poisoned spears and arrows for protection as the beasts are particularly susceptible to it. These villages often harvest poison from local snakes, driving many piasa to ruthlessly slaughter such creatures on sight. An area clear of snakes is often a sign of a piasa’s presence.

Section 15: Copyright Notice
Creature Codex. © 2018 Open Design LLC; Authors Wolfgang Baur, Dan Dillon, Richard Green, James Haeck, Chris Harris, Jeremy Hochhalter, James Introcaso, Chris Lockey, Shawn Merwin, and Jon Sawatsky.